Culture Blogs


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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lessons.

I recently facilitated a large, public ritual at a local state park.  A lot of friends and old regulars came, and we were lucky to have a few new faces, too.  One of our surprise guests was a young mother who we have known for a few years but don’t get to see very often.  She comes to events when she can, but I really only end up seeing her once a year or so, at most.  Much to my surprise, she brought her kids with her to the ritual.  They’re sweet, clever little devils, and they have a history of being somewhat rowdy and in need of a lot of re-direction.

The children came rushing up to the altar as soon as the family arrived at the park.  This was one of those moments where Childless Trivia thought in panic “Ooh... right… kids…!”  I took time out to speak to them about the altar, making it very clear to them that they could look to their heart’s desire but touching was absolutely forbidden.  The children nodded solemnly and then went to go play on some rocks, immediately forgetting about candles, statues, and various other temptations.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Joke in Bad Taste

I generally don't post pieces that seem to me mean-spirited. Gods know, there's no lack of such in our community, and that's not what I'm here to do.

But in this case, I'm going to make an exception.

The easily-offended may not wish to read any further.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Bwahahahaha and Oh No You Di'n't!
  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub says #
    I... kind of feel like I shouldn't have laughed at that as hard as I did. It's funny... when I was a wee baby witchling, explori
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Gods, Anthony, those were heady days. When you managed actually to get hold of something, you treasured it and gnawed it over for
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember when "The Magic Power of Witchcraft" and "Helping Yourself With White Witchcraft" were the only books on witchcraft ava

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Title: Death and Relaxation (Ordinary Magic Book One)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Joining the Dance

I start awake with the prickling knowledge that someone is in the room.

Every house has its secrets. I am about to learn one.

My eyes fly open. A luminescence hovers mid-air at the foot of the bed.

We'd been in the house nine months. My bedroom faces west, so I was accustomed to wake to darkness.

But now a shaft of red-gold, ancestral light slants in, spans the room, and illumines the windows of the west.

Minneapolis is a four-square city, its good Midwestern street-grid laid out cardinally. As the Sun rises due east at the equinoxes in his annual journey along the horizon, his light shines in through the east window, streams in a thick, tangible column down the hall, and into my bedroom on the west.

Like something out of New Grange.

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In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Comes to Paganistan for the Very First Time

The omen could hardly have been clearer.

It was spring break of my junior year. I'd come to Minneapolis, ostensibly in search of a graduate program. Actually, I'd come in search of a community. In search of a people.

My friend had picked me up at the train station. Driving home down Lake Street, I saw it.

I guess you could say that a wall spoke to me. Minneapolis is a City of Murals. There it was, covering the entire side of a building.

Flowers, butterflies. (Hey, it was the 70s.) These words:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Well, speak of the Horned, Chris! I was thinking of you fondly just the other day. Hope this finds you happy and in health.
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    And who'd'a thunk that just a little while later you'd join in at Paul's magickal place for a weekend hosting amazing men from all
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Eli, the feeling is entirely mutual. How did we get so lucky?
  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub says #
    Y'know, it's funny: when I moved here from Michigan for college, I never expected to stay here. I had no intention of going back t
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's a weird place (in both senses of the term), in some ways a hard place, a cold place. Not everyone manages to fit in. Just ma

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Does Evil Exist?

Does evil exist?

The ancestors certainly thought so. Looking around me in the world, I can't help but think that they were right.

I sometimes hear pagans dismissing the existence of evil with a cavalier wave of the hand. (I've been there myself.) As, many of us, people of privilege living in a society of privilege—some of us reacting against upbringings obsessed with metaphysical evil—it's easy to be dismissive.

But the ancestors knew about evil long before the coming of the missionaries. 5500 years ago, speakers of the Indo-European Mother Tongue knew evil as *upelo-. 3000 years later, the speakers of Common Germanic spoke of *ubilaz. The Anglo-Saxon tribe known as the Hwicce, the original Tribe of Witches, called if yfel (Watkins 98).

I'm not arguing for the existence of evil as a principle or a metaphysical entity. Although—linguistically speaking—evil may be a noun, it's not a thing in se.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My working definition of evil is "superlative wrongdoing." Nobody does the right thing all the time; most (if not all) of us somet
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I once read a book by Lyall Watson titled: "Dark Nature" in which he talks about the biology of evil. I took some notes. "7 mor

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree of Souls

Well, they're starting their annual journey to the Valley of Souls.

Black-and-orange, black-and-orange, black-and-orange.

Even as a kid, they struck me as foreshadowing, as little flecks of Samhain fluttering, by some act of temporal disturbance, into summer.

Danaus plexippus: known variously as the milkweed, tiger, or (for unclear reasons) the monarch butterfly.

When did butterflies first come to symbolize souls? Who can say? (They're not uncommon in Minoan glyptic art.) The reasons for the connection are certainly clear enough. Probably you could rattle off three or four, if you wanted to.

And—among other reasons—like souls, butterflies are migratory.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    We used to have a patch of Michel mass daisies; a kind of tall lavender aster, when I was a teenager. The Monarch butterflies wou

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